Garmin Gets GFC 600 Autopilot Certification For Select Piper Meridans

The GFC 600 is designed to work with both piston-powered and turbine aircraft. Garmin

Garmin International has received two supplemental type certificates (STCs) aimed at enhancing safety. One is for the GFC 600 autopilot, the other certifies Smart Rudder Bias2 for Cessna 414A aircraft equipped with the GFC 600 autopilot.

The Autopilot

The GFC 600 is designed to work with both piston-powered and turbine aircraft. The interface of the unit is classic Garmin and should be intuitive to most users.

The autopilot STC is for 2000 to 2009 model Meridians. The GFC 600 features altitude pre-select and indicated airspeed hold, as well as VNAV capabilities when paired with a GTN and GTN Xi series navigator.

The autopilot enables the pilot to select, couple, and fly various instrument approaches including GPS, ILS, VOR, LOC, as well as back-course approaches when paired with a compatible Garmin GPS navigator.

The GFC 600 provides underspeed and overspeed protection and there is a dedicated LVL button that will automatically engage the autopilot to restore the aircraft to straight-and-level flight. When paired with the GTN Xi series navigator, the unit supports Smart Glide, which can automate tasks and ease pilot workload in the event of an uncommanded loss of engine power.

The unit is designed with a yaw damping mode to minimize oscillations while also helping to maintain coordinated flight using the electronic stability and protection (ESP) function. The ESP works in the background independently of the autopilot when the pilot is hand-flying the aircraft to help avoid inadvertent flight attitudes or bank angles by nudging the pilot to return the aircraft back to a safe flight attitude.

Smart Rudder Bias2

The Smart Rudder Bias2 is designed to assist the pilot of a multiengine aircraft in the event of uncommanded power loss in one engine.

The system continuously monitors engine parameters using engine indication system (EIS) data. This information is displayed on a G500 TXi or G600 TXi flight display. Smart Rudder Bias2 activates when the system detects a predetermined power differential between each engine and adjusts rudder pressure to help the pilot control a sideslip condition.

In addition, a yellow annunciator for the associated inoperative engine is conveniently displayed along with autopilot annunciations on the G500 TXi or G600 TXi flight display, helping the pilot identify the issue faster.

Meg Godlewski has been an aviation journalist for more than 24 years and a CFI for more than 20 years. If she is not flying or teaching aviation, she is writing about it. Meg is a founding member of the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture and excels at the application of simulation technology to flatten the learning curve. Follow Meg on Twitter @2Lewski.

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